The building’s dramatic exterior has a split personality; the east-facing wall of wavy brickwork is a nod to Sydney’s sandstone heritage, while the western facade consists of angular glass shards that mirror Chau Chak’s contemporary neighbors.
Chau Chak Wing, named after a UTS benefactor, was in fact a treehouse—“a growing, learning organism with many branches of thought.” Most of the social and learning spaces are in the “trunk,” and several staircases, like the polished-steel focal point, were designed to encourage the movement of people and ideas.
There are also spaces for 160 bicycles in the basement and a water refilling station on every floor. The building will sit alongside the under-construction Goods Line, an elevated city park a la New York City’s High Line.

Three hundred windows pop out at varying degrees, bathing classrooms and student lounges in light and helping the building achieve five-star Green Star certification.
Sydney’s newest architectural landmark—Gehry’s Australian debut which opens for classes on February 23, 2015—has been compared to everything from a crinkled paper bag to a termite’s nest. UTS is the southern terminus of what planners are calling Sydney’s “cultural ribbon” that extends north to the Opera House. But if the goal of the Los Angeles-based starchitect was to engage Sydneysiders, the “paper bag” is doing its job.

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